The Department of Tourism on 19 May presented the 2022/2023 Budget Vote in an address to the media.
During the address, the department said that its enterprise development programme is a key strategic intervention to provide developmental support to tourism enterprises and develop a pipeline of emerging operators in the sector. A key component that will be rolled out in this financial year is the incubation programme. The department will implement four incubators and make sure that there are tangible outcomes.
“We have thousands of SMMEs throughout our townships, rural areas and small dorpies offering authentic creative experiences throughout our tourism value chain. These SMMEs are crucial for our goal of inclusive sustainable tourism and help spread the benefits of tourism to communities outside the traditional tourism “hotspots”,” Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said.
“We will dedicate funds to develop and maintain state-owned and community-based tourism assets in the next three years. This will help in protecting tourism assets and core infrastructure as well as supporting inclusive economic participation through diverse community-owned products.”
The department will also continue to implement the Tourism Incentive Programme to stimulate the growth, development and transformation of the South African tourism sector. In line with its mission to employ strategic partnerships, it will continue to collaborate with other government departments and entities in the rollout of the incentive programme.
In this regard, formal partnerships through memoranda of agreement are already in place with entities such as the National Empowerment Fund (NEF), the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), and the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA).
However, following input from beneficiaries and stakeholders, the department will be engaging with these entities to make sure that the funding instruments, qualification requirements and other modalities speak to the needs of the tourism sector and the previously included.
The minister added that the department is working to have the legal matters delaying the implementation of the Tourism Equity Fund (TEF) resolved.
The TEF is intended to fast-track transformation within the tourism sector. The facility provides a combination of debt finance and grants to facilitate equity acquisition and new project development in the tourism sector by black entrepreneurs.
“We will continue to work with interested parties to resolve this matter. We have no doubt that the sector shares our eagerness to see this matter resolved considering the number of applications received after the fund was launched. A clear indicator that the facility has very high demand,” the minister said.
There must also be a strong and demonstrable focus on women and women-owned and operated enterprises.
“To support women-owned enterprises, the Tourism Equity Fund will be fundamentally feminist. This is to say, work will be done to radically push the role and ownership of women enterprises in the sector,” added the minister.
The Tourism Equity Fund will offer capital investment in the form of grant funding to black-owned tourism enterprises. An amount of R360 million over the medium term is allocated to the fund to support an estimated 31 tourism enterprises. Twenty of these, or 65%, will be women enterprises.
Part of its effort will include a strong focus on developing the viability of women-owned businesses. This is to say, the department is not looking for viable businesses in a world it knows doesn’t recognise the work of women as even remotely viable. “Our work must be to drive the recognition of women businesses as viable.”
To read the full address, click here.